Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October Review

We are on a roll, and wow does it feel good!

Due to the extra paycheck this month, this is the best month we’ve had so far! Even without the additional check, we still would have been pretty even with last month.

Notes on Income
One bonus was that I apparently double paid a bill last month. It was a debt that was paid in full, so I have no idea how I paid it twice when I’m watching the money so close! Anyway, I got that refund today and deposited into checking immediately.

I received some money for helping a relative with his business for a few days this month.

I sold one book on and made 8.00. I like much better than eBay. eBay costs too much, I think, especially if your item doesn’t sell.

Notes on Expenses
We spent 343.00 this month on butchering beef. This will last us for a year, so we think that expense is justified.

Groceries were 460.00, which is about the same as previous months.

This was a birthday month for us, as Green turned 8 on October 25! Yeah for him! But that meant extra money was spent on birthday presents. Luckily we seem to have a large number of gift cards lying around the house that we don’t know who they belong to, so I gathered those up and was able to cut down the cost of his presents.

This month I threw in the towel and paid for an annual subscription to I had been paying monthly for 9.95, and the annual subscription was around 89.00. Plus, I get a free Total Money Makeover book and the fancy envelopes for his system. (We personally don’t do the envelopes.) I figure I can give this book as a Christmas present, so that will save me some in the Christmas budget. Or if I don’t have anyone to give it to, I’ll donate it to our local library because they don’t have a copy!!

And now, the debt
I’m still working on my car, so most likely it will go to that. I have about 9,000 to go on it, but at this rate it won’t take long.

I'm amazed at how much we've been able to pay off just since June. If you aren't keeping track of your money, what are you waiting for? You're now 4 months behind me. Just think where you could be if you had started with me?

And congrats to Iowa Mom and Dad, who have jumped on board. You will be changing the life of your family forever!

Monday, October 29, 2007

This is MY Dyson

Just hand over the Dyson and nobody will get hurt.

I Want Spend-Free Days!

I’ve been wanting to have “no spend” days on my blog and maybe invite you to join me in the fun. Every day that I didn’t spend any money, I’d post a fun logo on my blog and I’d sit back and think “ahhhhh”. But I’m finding that I don’t have any spend-free days. Even on my strict budget, I’m still spending money every single day.

Today, for example, Three needed to purchase a basketball jersey for his basketball league. He’ll use it through 8th grade so it’s not a waste of money, but he still had to purchase it. That cost $20. And I needed Halloween candy for tonight, so I spent $6.00 on that.

Tomorrow won’t be any different because we are at the school’s book fair and books are our family’s very favorite thing – especially when it benefits the school. Plus, I’ll be at a client meeting tomorrow during the day and will need to purchase lunch. And I need to buy a birthday present for a slumber party Three is invited to on Thursday.

I thought there was going to be hope on Thursday, but no such luck. I have my final appt for my new trial contacts so then I’ll be able to order a set. So that REALLY won’t be a spend-free day.

What about you? Do you have any spend-free days?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Evening Randomness...

I’m so excited to get to the end of this month to find out how much money we have left over to pay toward debt. I’m looking forward to calculating my final numbers and it looks like this is going to be our most successful month yet! It mostly has to do with the extra paycheck being included in this month’s numbers. But we also were extremely good about watching the money we spent.

And here are some things that may help in the next couple of months:

Three is dedicated to playing the saxophone and I was all ready to shell out the $1700 for the brand new sax because we could not locate a used one we found acceptable. Tonight we spoke to a music teacher who told us we could get one for half that amount and he’s going to help us find it. So if it all goes as planned, we will have saved around $850.00.

Pool Boy is slowly coming around. He broke the news to me today that he has finally realized that his brand new Snapper zero-turn mower is, well, ridiculous. Ok, he didn’t use the word ridiculous but that’s what he meant. We listed it on Craigslist tonight so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that this baby sells. That will save us $2400, which is how much we still owe on it.

I have some companies who have contacted me for some contract work and I expect to start that in November and hopefully get some more work over the winter. Sounds like some late nights for me this winter, but that’s ok if it helps us reach our goals!

We’ve finished up the swimming pool business for the year, so we will sit down in the next week or so and review the books to see where we ended up. We were fortunate enough to have a successful year. Pool Boy worked hard this spring, summer and fall and it paid off. (Don’t worry, PB, I won’t post any figures!) And he was able to do that and also have the boys with him all summer so we did not have daycare. There were many days when we thought we were juggling too much, but it will all pay off when we are debt-free!

Off to a busy week full of school conferences, trick or treating, working at the school book fair, charity volleyball game, two early out days, one day without school and school board workshop.

Have a great week!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Financial Blog You Should NOT Be Reading

I'm all for people posting whatever the heck they want to on their blog. I'm not going to berate someone for something they write. I will, however, remove them from my Bloglines account. I had to remove someone today.

I won't tell you who it is because it doesn't matter. It is a personal finance blog that offers their input on various money issues. One thing I see a lot of on this blog, though, is credit card offers. These aren't just ads on the side of the blog - this person actually write about the "awesome" offers being given by the credit card companies! These offers include free miles, $50 cash back, free hotel rooms, and on and on. At one point he was bragging that he made $700 on credit card sign ups. I don't even want to know how many credit cards this person has. And he's a personal finance blogger? Seriously...

Someone who is serious about personal finance should not be using credit cards and should definiately not be promoting credit cards. Actually, they shouldn't even waste their time finding out all of this information about credit cards!

So now there is an available space on my Bloglines account!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

You need to read this because this is what most people's attitudes are about money

Ramit has an awesome post today.

This kind of attitude is what gets people into financial trouble. If you shrug your shoulders and say, "it won't work for me because I spend too much money/don't make enough money/have too much debt/insert excuse here", then there may be no hope for you until you figure out a way to change that thought process.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mom Mode

As soon as I walked in the door from work tonight, I was thrown head first into Mom Mode.

Three was still sick and camped out on the couch where he had been since 8:00AM. He REALLY wanted me to be home, according to Pool Boy. So I sat and talked with him, found out how he was doing etc.

On to Green. His birthday is tomorrow. I had purchased some cake mixes because I was just SURE cupcakes would suffice to take to school to share with his class. Oh no. "I want those cookies with the frosting on them." Yeah, that's right. The ones I make from scratch. Danggit. "And I want the cupcakes for my party tomorrow night." Double danggit. So I spent the night baking because that's what good moms (or suckers) do.

We quickly threw a birthday party together for Green, since he'll be partying with friends tomorrow night. So I ran downstairs, wrapped the presents, ran back upstairs, where he opened them.

Pool Boy reffed (is that a word?) his last volleyball game tonight so I was on my own for the rest of the night.

I shut off my "mom mode" switch around 9:00 tonight.

Money Or Vomit? I'm Choosing Money.

I was perusing through my old blog posts the other night. It’s amazing how the tone of this blog has changed just over the past year. Last year at this time I was blogging about playing poker instead of going to church, celebrity divorces, and other stupid stuff.

I’m quite aware that my blog today resembles something totally different. It’s way more serious and *gasp* maybe even a bit informational. It’s all good, though. I’m excited about the financial information I’m gathering and I enjoy sharing it with all of you. And if I can get you to change how you spend money and get you on the right track, then that is way more fun than talking about clocks or vomit.

And speaking of vomit, Three is home from school today…vomiting…

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Are You Getting Extra Paychecks?

Some of you are probably getting extra paychecks and don’t even realize it. Ok, they really aren’t “extra” but…well, just read on.

I get paid bi-weekly, which comes out to 26 times per year. But I track our money by the month, or by a 4-week period, which means I only need 24 paychecks to work our plan. That gives me two extra paychecks per year to work with.

Before I started tracking our money, I knew there were 26 pay periods but I never paid attention. Just some months it seemed that I had more money than before but I never did anything different. I just thought, “Wow. Extra money. That’s cool.” And eventually it would spend it on who knows what. Now that I’m tracking our money and every dollar is accounted for, I think, “THIS IS LIKE FREE MONEY!”

Right now I have an extra paycheck sitting in my checking account. Of course this will all go toward one of our debts – either toward my car or toward Three's saxophone. (We have been paying for the sax by the month until we were sure he was going to stick with it.)

Monday, October 22, 2007


I have to start by saying that we’ve never filed bankruptcy, never been anywhere near that situation. So I really don’t have first-hand knowledge of the whole process, and that may affect my views on bankruptcy. So there, disclaimer stated.

I guess I can see the need for bankruptcy if you had a business go belly-up and you found yourself $700,000 in debt with no assets to balance it out. But when I’ve seen bankruptcy notices in the paper, quite a few of them are for $150,000 or less. And I want to say, “You’re kidding me, right?”

Hopefully these people are using bankruptcy as a very last resort. You don’t want a bankruptcy on your record. You really don’t. If you are filing bankruptcy, PLEASE tell me that you have already done the following:

Tracking – You are currently tracking every single dollar that leaves your bank account. You know exactly where your money is going. The first month you do tracking is scary, because it gives you an honest picture of why you don’t have any money. But the second month is wonderful because you found where you were wasting money and don’t do those things anymore. You feel like you’ve gotten a raise!

Lifestyle – This isn’t optional. You have cut your lifestyle back to match your income. If you are broke, you really need to give up all the extras until you dig yourself out of your mess. It may take drastic measures – no cable, no Internet, eating beans and rice, no going out to eat, no adult beverages, nothing. You take care of your family’s basic needs first.

Budget – You have sat down at the beginning of the month and figured out where each dollar will go that month. As Dave says, you spend every dollar on paper on purpose BEFORE the month begins.

Negotiate – Call every company you owe money to and tell them, “I’m headed toward bankruptcy, but I don’t want to go there. I need help lowering my interest on the debt I owe you.” Or make them an offer to pay 50 cents on the dollar of your debt. They won’t like it, but chances are they will take it rather than the amount they will get if you file bankruptcy – which is ZERO.

Income Evaluation – If you have done the above (no, REALLY done the above) and are still not able to pay basic expenses and bills, obviously your income is the problem. You need to be doing paper routes, delivering pizzas, start your own side business...anything to bring in money.

So you’ve done the above and still don’t see a way out of the mess you’ve created. You’ve filed bankruptcy. PLEASE have an honest conversation with yourself and significant other as to what caused the bankruptcy so that you never, ever have to put yourself and your family through this again. And please learn how to handle money because they way you were doing it didn’t work so well the first time around.

Tip: Did you know that using a debt consolidation company is NOT a good thing to do? On your credit report, it looks just the same as filing bankruptcy. Steer clear.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Countdown to Adult Only Weekend

The past 6-8 months have pretty intense. Lots of ball games, going here and there, a finance awakening (which does take a lot of time to learn!) and on and on. It's time for a break from the kiddos and have just an adult a whole different state even!

Pool Boy and I will be going with her and hubby, her and hubby, and another couple.


I love my friends. They are the best.

Except the won't go to Vegas with me and Pool Boy. That's the only thing I don't like about them.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Parent Exam Needed

This is why you should have to have a mental exam prior to becoming a parent.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Here are some things I could do

Ana at DebtFREE Revolution asked what people would do if they were debt free. Here are a few things that come to mind, but it’s by no means the complete list.

My kids’ college education would be fully funded (and they WILL be fully funded by the time they go). They each have a 529 account, but there’s only enough money in there to buy them books for their first semester. We need to start throwing money into that every month.

I’ve heard the argument that “you shouldn’t save up any money because if you have a lot then you won’t qualify for student loans.” That’s my point…I don’t want to use student loans. Pool Boy and I were both fortunate enough to have our education funded by our parents, and we feel strongly that we provide the same opportunity for our kids. I don’t want my boys spending half of their life trying to dig themselves out of student loan debt.

If I had no payments, I could be generous in my donations to the organizations I choose to support. We currently donate to kids organizations whenever we can, but there’s always a need when it comes to kids. It’s more fun to be on the giving side instead of the receiving side.

Role Model
If I were debt free, I could be a role model to my boys and show them how much fun life is without debt. I would also like to be a role model to friends and family, to prove that it can be done and it is SO worth it. I’d love to be a
FPU instructor some day.

Real Estate
I love real estate and the thought of owning real estate. But that goal is out of our reach until we clean up the mess we’ve made with our debt. I really want to own real estate in a fun place, like Colorado or on the coast somewhere. Not that Iowa isn’t fun, but…you know.

I tag all of you, especially Iowa Mom since I know she’s tasted the Kool-Aid.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Photoshop Help!

If you are a PS wiz and can help me, I'll be forever grateful. Ok, maybe not forever.

In the below example, how would you make this image perfectly smooth on the edges instead of the jagged edges?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I was listening to Dave Ramsey’s podcast the other day and I literally burst out laughing. He said there are two reasons that people are broke. I don’t even remember what reason number 2 was because I was laughing so hard.

“The first reason people are broke is because they are STUPID!”

Brutal, but very true. I’ve been very stupid in my past. Stupid purchases are usually those that make you appear wealthy and successful to others. I’ll be honest – I always felt like I was doing well since I could afford the monthly payments on all of our stuff. Now I know that making monthly payments does not make you wealthy and successful – it makes you broke.

I used to drive a GMC Yukon. Wow, did I love that thing. Leather interior, all the gadgets you could imagine. It was huge, so the gas mileage was horrible. My monthly payment on the Yukon was about $535 per month. We also had a truck payment of $485.00 per month. Yes, folks, we were spending approximately $1000 per month just on vehicles. VEHICLES!!!

One day after sending in another $535 (yes, just the minimum) to the bank, I felt sick inside. I distinctly remember that day because it was the day that changed our financial lives. It was the day I realized that living with payments isn’t fun. I wanted to do something better with my money.

That very night I drove to the car lot. I didn’t care what I bought, I just needed to dump my Yukon and the $535 payment that went along with it. I found the car I’m currently driving and was able to get a payment of only $339. I picked the car up the next day and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Now I’m working to pay off that car. I never make only minimum payments anymore. When this car is paid off, we will have given ourselves a $1000 monthly raise by dumping the debt. It feels great.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm Sad...and Jittery. I May Have To Switch

I'm just going to throw it out there.

Folks, I don't have Fox Business Network.

There, I said it. Just typing it was painful. Today I'm filled with a sad, left-out kind of feeling. FBN debuted last night and I missed out. Dave Ramsey's new show is on this channel and Iowa Mom had to email me today and rub it in my face that her and her husband watched it last night and that it was awesome.

Dave, Dave, Dave. People on your plan don't have satellite television. What am I to do? Are you telling me, Dave, to drop the local cable channel and get DirectTV? I may have no choice. I may have to fork over the extra money for it because I CANNOT TAKE MANY MORE NIGHTS OF THIS TORTURE.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm Not Keep Up With Them

I don’t get jealous of other people’s purchases. Especially their purchase of new cars, new homes, expensive new clothes, etc. There’s really nothing that I want that bad that is more important than working off my debt.

When I see someone driving a brand new car, I actually feel a little bad for them because I know they have just set themselves up for another 5 years of debt and are just that much further away from being financially free.

For years I always told myself and everyone I knew, “I’ll always have a car payment.” I blamed it on the kids. If I’m driving kids around, I need to have a reliable vehicle, right? I have had a car payment for 14 years. Sometimes I had two payments going at once, which is completely insane. On just my cars alone over all those years, I estimate I’ve spent $58,800. If I would have bought a $5,000 car every 5 years, for cash, I would have spent only $15,000. That thought sickens me. Think of the money I would have now if I would have thrown those payments in a mutual fund? Aye, aye, aye.

I still have a car payment, but am beating it down with a great big stick. I’ll never make this mistake again.

A Debt Story

Advanced Personal Finance has an excellent post explaining how him and his wife got out of debt. Nothing in that post is earth-shattering, it's just simply what must be done in order to achieve success.

Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. You owe this money. You will pay it - it’s only a question of when and how much it’s going to cost you.

Are you ignoring your debt problem? What are you doing to resolve it? If you are only paying the amount that says is due on your car payment, student loan payment, etc., you are their favorite customer. They are getting their money, plus tons of interest. Get rid of it!

Pool Boy and I will be debt free someday. We will have our paychecks to do whatever we want with because we will not be paying car payments or a mortgage. A life without payments...I can't wait!

No Wi-Fi For Us, Thanks

I’ll borrow a line from one of my soccer players last week: I’m not bragging, but I am pretty good.

At least I thought I was. I consider myself computer literate. In fact, it’s how I earn my paycheck. My employer better rethink that, though, since I’m unable to get Green’s NintendoDS hooked up to the wi-fi without destroying my Internet connection.

Yesterday was a rainy day and soccer was cancelled. I thought I would do Green a favor and spend some time getting his DS set up so he could play his games with his friends over the wi-fi connection. There was a lot of router re-setting, WEP education, DS manual reading going on. Then it turned into a lot of swearing, rebooting, DS pencil thing losing, phone calls to brother in CO, plugging, unplugging, and more swearing.

We haven’t had an Internet connection since.

Seriously folks, how does the average person set up their Nintendo DS machines? You have to know A LAWT to get the settings right so it can be played over wi-fi. Apparently I know nothing.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Do You REALLY Need That?

Do you realize that every single dollar you spend is one step away from reaching your financial goals? That is, assuming you have financial goals.

Here are some quick ways the average family could save some extra cash in a typical month by cutting out the following:

Eating out once a week = $140 (based on $35.00 per time)
Making two casual trip through Wal-Mart and picking up unnecessary items = $100
Manicure = $40
Getting hair colored at salon instead of at home = $60
Clothing purchases = $50
Stopping at a convenience store for drinks or snacks once a week - $15.00

Those are a few things that people can absolutely do without and it totals up to $405 per month. Over a year that would equal $4860. And that’s only by cutting out 6 purchases! What do you spend money on each month that is unnecessary?

Here’s a situation that happened to me this week. It proves how my spending habits have changed:

I went to Target to get cat litter and laundry detergent. As soon as I walked in, I saw a white vest in the clothing department. Wow, I’ve been wanting a white vest forever. And this was perfect. I looked at it, tried it on, looked at it again. Then I thought, “If I buy that vest, that’s less money I can put toward the debt on my car.” I never would have felt comfortable wearing it knowing it was something I didn’t need. I put it back and walked away. I went and got the cat litter and laundry detergent and checked out. Back in the day (like 6 months ago) I would have put the vest in my cart, probably walked through the rest of the clothing department, then looked through the jewelry and picked out at least one thing, then head over the food isle to pick up a few things.

Life has changed, but life is good.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Big Spender

I think I would LOVE the show Big Spender, but I always forget to watch it. Beachgirl does a great service for those of us who can't be near the television on Saturday mornings (or aren't with it enough to remember to record it. She reviews episodes so we can see exactly how crazy these people are. Wow. It amazes me how much people spend per month when compared to their income. These people are obviously clueless!

Check out Beachgirl's reviews. Also hop over to the official Big Spender website. They have short clips of some of their shows so you can get an idea of what it's all about.

Monday, October 08, 2007

40 Before 40!

Today is the day! Even if you weren't able to come up with 40 things, go ahead and post what you've got. It was not that easy to come up with 40 things, was it? Don't forget to enter the link below, preferably pointing directly to your 40 Before 40 post.

  1. Pay of my car.

  2. Pay off HELOC.

  3. Pay off mortgage.

  4. Teach my boys about how to properly use money.

  5. Go on a vacation with just Pool Boy.

  6. Go on a vacation with Pool Boy and all of our friends, without kids.

  7. Become, and stay, physically fit – not to be confused with losing weight. I just feel healthy and fit.

  8. Become a mentor to other people who want to get out of debt and monitor their expenses.

  9. Attend a Dave Ramsey show.

  10. Own another piece of real estate for investment purposes.

  11. Take my family to Disneyworld. (scheduled for next summer!)

  12. Figure out Dreamweaver.

  13. Read the Bible. I’ve always been intimidated by it, but my MIL bought me one that explains all the readings, so now I have no excuse.

  14. Figure out how to keep my house organized.

  15. Break the Diet Mt. Dew addiction.

  16. Paint the trim on my house. Yes, it may take me that long to finish.

  17. Plant a vegetable garden.

  18. Have a plan in place to pay for college.

  19. Get some contacts that feel good in my eyes so I can wear them daily. (No, I don’t qualify for LASIK.)

  20. Minimize the “stuff” I have in my house. I have so much extra stuff like wedding presents I’ve never used, baskets that just sit in storage, old picture frames that I don’t like any more, and on and on. It all needs to go.

  21. Figure out JavaScript.

  22. Memorize (or something close to that) CSS codes.

  23. Learn how to use all the features on my Sirius Sportster radio.

  24. Get a formal family picture. Hopefully yet this month, Julie!

  25. SMOWDB (This is secret code. No, you aren’t going to learn everything about me!)

  26. Get a cellular plan that has free texting.

  27. Serve another term on the school board.

  28. Become more involved with our town festival. If my generation doesn’t step up to the plate, it will disappear!

  29. Organize my family pictures. This does NOT mean scrapbooking.

  30. Convert my digital pictures into real pictures.

  31. Start my journals for the boys. I bought them a few years ago and they are still blank.

  32. Convince my parents to fill out their “Grandparent” journals for the boys.

  33. Do a better job of planning meals ahead of time.

  34. Guide our school district to include a technology/computer curriculum in our elementary school.

  35. Be fully-funding Roth IRAs each year for both me and Pool Boy.

  36. Continue raising my boys the best way I know how.

  37. Work to make sure Pool Boy and I are always happy together.

  38. To make sure I spend a lot of time with the boys because they’ll be out of the house before I know it.

  39. Say these things less often to the boys: “Not today”, “Not Now”, “I’m Busy.”

  40. To reach every single goal on this list!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I've just closed my eyes again. Climbed aboard the dream weaver train...

Driver, take away my worries of today. And leave tomorrow behi-hind.

I'm taking a short break from my Dreamweaver studying to let you know that I simply cannot learn this program without this damn song running through my head. Every single time I open up Dreamweaver, it starts...."oooooooo Dream Weaver!" It's driving me insane.

Back to my studies. And as you were.

Friday, October 05, 2007

40 Before 40...Next Tuesday!

I think goals are vital to being successful. How can you get where you are going if you have no idea where you are going? Over the weekend, be thinking of 40 things you want to accomplish before you turn 40. For those of you who have already turned 40, feel free to post a "before 50" list. For those way under 40, you lucky kids have a few more years to reach your goals!

So make your list, come back on Tuesday and register with Mr. Linky. Have fun with this!


Feel free to use this button to spread the news!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Trait Not Inherited From Me

Three loves – LOVES – middle school. Yesterday was no exception.

Due to an early out, they had a fun day planned at school. The last portion of the day was an assembly where a game of Jeopardy was played on stage. Three was one of the 4 students selected to go up on stage and participate. He had a great time and even though he was the youngest going against 7th and 8th graders, he won the game and won a 2-liter of Mt. Dew.

That’s all well and good, but I’m most proud of the fact that it did not bother him at all to be up on stage in front of all of his peers. He’s not arrogant at all, but he enjoys being the center of attention. Singing a solo in front of a large group? Loves it. Participating in a spelling bee on stage at a festival? Loves it. Performing in community theater? Loves it. Playing Jeopary in front of the entire middle school body? Probably the best day of his school career.

Three, you have no idea how valuable that trait is. Don’t let it go – it will take you so far in life.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Are You Talking About ME?

I read a blog the other day that was quote a woman who was mad at bloggers who discuss personal finance. She said that most personal finance bloggers have tens of thousands of dollars saved up, have very large salaries, have tons of money invested, brag about their wealth, throw their ideas in the face of those who have no hope, etc. She figures that we don’t relate to the average person who doesn’t have any money, has a job they hate, have piles and piles of bills and can’t ever seem to get ahead.

She doesn’t know us very well, does she.

We are average people. We don’t drive top of the line cars. We don’t buy all name-brand clothing. We don’t eat out at fancy restaurants. We monitor every single dollar that leaves our house and we know exactly where it is going. We have side jobs that bring in extra money. For example, my husband currently has his primary job, his Pool Boy business, and one more additional job. We work our rear ends off to bring in the amount of money we make.

I don’t write about money on my blog to “brag”. Being in debt is nothing to brag about. I write about money on my blog for two reasons:

1. Writing about money keeps me energized and excited about reaching my goals.

2. I want to encourage you to take control of your own finances and aim to be debt-free. I want to show you how easy it can be and how it can totally change your life.

I See You, But I Can't Hear You

Today's the day, folks. I'm also a lurker at some sites, but I'll make an extra effort today to post a comment at every site I visit. You can even comment anonymously - just comment! And maybe say something nice. There's nothing in it for you. This is all about me.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'm Nice!

Thanks for the award, Toni! Of course you did give this award to luvthebearcats as well, so it looks like you are handing these things out to anyone...

September Money Review

September was a much more successful month than August. Wow! We even had a small vacation in there and still came out way ahead.

After paying all the bills, transferring $500 to savings, we ended up with a surplus of $1282.00. Success! This money was spent here:

$330 went to pay the remaining balance on furniture

$950 went toward my car, on top of the scheduled payment of $332, for a total Sept car payment of $1282.

Here are a few of the month’s highlights –

  • We had a checking account that had been tied to an old HELOC that was no longer in use. That account had a $98 balance that had been sitting there for awhile, so I closed the account and had them mail me the check.
  • I gathered up loose change around the house and took it to the bank. It totaled $70.00.
  • We went to a NASCAR race, but only two of us ended up going so we sold our extra tickets for $300. We used that money to pay for our hotel room and all of the other expenses for that weekend so we wouldn’t have to use any of our “own” money.
  • We have started to cancel our credit cards since we no longer use them.
  • I did use $260 out of savings this month to pay for repairs on my car. I don’t feel bad about that since we’re putting $500 into that account each month. Other than that $260, we have not withdrawn a single penny from savings since August 3. How exciting is THAT?
  • Eating out money was WAY down. As a family, we only ate out twice. The other expenses were a pop or sandwich here or there, but those were very rare. This is the area that kills our budget each month, and I think we are finally getting it done.
  • Our grocery bill was only $445 this month, which I still think is a steal for a family of four.

Since focusing on our money, we have paid off the following items:

Pool Boy’s truck - $5,000
Furniture - $1000
Computer - $800

We are getting there! If you are not watching every dollar you are spending, get started TODAY with October. It’s not as painful as you might think – it’s actually calming to know where each and every dollar is going every month. You will not regret it, I promise.